1. Food

Make Ahead Appetizers

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Whether you're hosting a Super Bowl party or a Chinese new year's party, you don't want to be spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Here are Chinese and Asian appetizers with tips on how to do most of the work of ahead of time.

1. Potstickers

These tasty dumplings are easy to make and don't require a wok! In this recipe the potstickers are filled with seasoned ground pork. Potstickers can be prepared up to the cooking stage and then frozen - here are easy instructions showing how to freeze potstickers.
  • Perfect Potstickers - learn more about these popular Chinese dumplings.
  • 2. Potsticker Dipping Sauce

    Potstickers taste great on their own, but a dipping sauce adds a little something extra. Making the dip ahead of time gives the flavors a chance to blend. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator and use within 3 to 4 days.

    3. Firecracker Shrimp

    This easy recipe for Firecracker Shrimp can be prepared a day ahead of time (up to the cooking stage) and then deep-fried just after your guests arrive. It includes a simple dipping sauce.

    4. Egg Rolls

    Egg rolls are popular with just about everyone! Egg rolls can be prepared ahead of time and frozen (both cooked and uncooked). Here are easy tips showing How to Freeze Egg Rolls

    5. Fried Wonton

    This recipe for deep-fried wonton filled with a mixture of ground pork and Chinese vegetables and seasonings has been reader-rated at 5 out of 5 stars. You can prepare the wonton ahead of time up to the cooking stage and then refrigerate or freeze them (if you are refrigerating, prepare the wonton up to a day ahead of time). If freezing, allow the wonton to return to room temperature in the refrigerator before deep-frying.

    Pork and Shrimp Wonton

    6. Spareribs With Hoisin Sauce

    Hoisin sauce adds its own distinct flavor to this recipe reader-rated at 5 out of 5 stars. The spareribs can be prepared ahead of time and reheated until warm in a 250 F. oven (place the ribs on aluminum foil). They're also quite easy to prepare on Game Day itself: the night before, combine the spareribs with the marinade and refrigerate. When it comes time to cook, all you need to do is place the ribs in the oven.

    More Spareribs Recipes:
  • Honey Garlic Spareribs
  • Spareribs With Black Bean Sauce
  • 7. Crab Rangoon

    This is the popular appetizer with crabmeat and cream cheese, invented by a chef at a Trader Vic's restaurant. You can make the filling for Crab Rangoon a day ahead of time and refrigerate in a sealed container until ready to use, or fill the wontons and refrigerate up to one day ahead of time before cooking. The wontons can also be prepared up to the deep-frying stage and frozen. Cook the frozen wonton according to the recipe instructions, adding a few minutes to the cooking time).

    8. Bacon Water Chestnut Appetizer

    An easy party appetizer - it tastes best if you use fresh water chestnuts but canned water chestnuts can be used as well. You can prepare these ahead of the time up to the cooking stage. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook. They can also be placed in a resealable plastic bag and frozen.

    9. Restaurant Salad Rolls (No Cook Spring Rolls)

    These are the popular Asian rice paper rolls filled with vegetables and served with a flavorful dip. These can be made a few hours ahead of time and then covered with a damp cloth until ready to serve (don't refrigerate). If you like, cut each prepared spring roll in half on the diagonal just before serving.

    10. Baked Crab Rangoon

    Although the filling can be made ahead of time, this recipe really comes more under the heading of an easy appetizer you can make at the last minute with a minimum of fuss. The crab/cream cheese dip is heated and then served with wonton "chips" - wonton wrappers cut into triangles and briefly baked.

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